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Friday, March 30, 2007

New Signs for the Week

Recognize this guy? I know it's tough, but his dog Spot, who is always in tow, gives him away.
You won't believe the difference a week makes.
Praise God!
He is communicating so much more! He is signing like a champ, and even making sentences! (Prompted by me, but still...Awesome!) He must sign "I want ____" when he wants something. He's so good at this! I can't believe the progress we've made in one week. I have no doubt that in a few months time he is going to be a fluent communicator, signing and talking. His spoken vocabulary has literally grown in a week because of signing! I can't stop thanking God. You can't imagine what this means for Justus.
For those of you who are already learning these signs, you rock!!! If you have any questions, please let me know. I want him to feel understood and able to communicate with the people he loves and who love him.
I checked out all of these signs on www.lifeprint.com and they are all on there. You just press on the beginning letter of the word at the top of the screen, and scroll down to find the word in the dictionary shown on the left. I wanted to let you know, occasionally, there will be a sign that we use differently. Signs vary from region to region, North to South. The sign we use for candy, on last week's list, is slightly different. Instead of twisting your finger into your cheek, you brush the tip of your finger a few times against your cheek. I'd be glad to show you. Sorry I didn't give you a heads up on that one.
This week's list:
I (point to yourself)
you (point outward)
jump (we use jump 3 X's to sign trampoline; one of Justus' favorite things)
Thank You
You're Welcome (look at sign for welcome)
Out (for outside)

You can do a quick study on ASL and how it works, (and I'm not the end-all expert by any means) but to give you a few pointers, this is not English. You do not sign every word! This is a conceptual language, and you paint pictures with your hands. When asking a question, you raise your eyebrows. When asking a what, when, where, who, why question, you furrow your eyebrows together. This sounds strange, but it's a very natural expression. Grammar of ASL is actually built into expression. It's a very big deal. You cannot sign with a blank face. So to ask a question, make the signs, and raise your eyebrows. "Do you want to play?" is signed "play" with eyebrows raised.

Practice Sentences:
Do you want to play? (play, eyebrows raised)
Do you want something to eat? (you want eat, eyebrows raised)
What do you want to drink? (what you want drink, what? eyebrows furrowed)
I want to jump on the trampoline. (I want jump, jump, jump.)
Come sit at the table, please. (you come sit table, please.)
Thank you. You're welcome.
I'm going to play outside. (I go play out.)

Let me know of any questions you have. Happy Signing!


Anonymous said...

Hey Jenn!

What is the sign for 'jump'?

(i couldn't find it...)

thanks for doing this!!!

-sarah t.

Jennifer Bacak said...

The sign for jump...
Take your left hand, and face it palm up, flat. (Like it's the ground.) Then your right hand, make two fingers (like a peace sign) and those are your legs. Point your fingers down on your left hand, and jump them up and down.
Does that make sense?
There are many signs where you will use those two fingers as your legs, like in "lie down" "stand up". Stand up is the same, just without the jumping.
If that's confusing, I can clarify it more!

Melodi said...

This is so fun! Hannah is TOTALLY into it. Thank you for teaching me to ask Danaya, "Do you want to eat?" It took her less than a week to learn! That is so helpful, since she has been slower than our others to develop speech. The cool thing is she SAYS "eat" a lot of times when she signs it! Hannah had a question, but I honestly haven't looked it up on that website yet. When we learned "truck," she wondered if the sign for "car" is different.

Jennifer Bacak said...

Yes, the sign for car is slightly different, only in that your pretend steering wheel is smaller. Truck is a BIG steering wheel. Does that make sense?
Way to go Hannah!

CarpioFamily said...

I used to do signs with Easton when he was a baby, and I know the alphabet. I love that signing uses your hands, but also your body language, Like raised eyebrows. It always makes me think how i used my body when i talk, is it another sly way to complain/protest? Or is it glorifing the lord?